Sunday, 24 June 2012

Single/EP Review - PAWS - Mislead Youth

Four letters all capitalised.  Synonymous with dogs, and also more recently cats.  Fat ones at that.  At present they represent one of the more promising and exciting musical prospect that Scotland has to offer.  PAWS are seemingly next in line to tread the path walked by current Fat Cat artists The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks and former prodigies Frightened Rabbit. 

Currently in the process of recording a debut LP with the Brighton based label, PAWS have also become one of the main proponents of the tapezine resurgence.  Through their own label CATH Records their have put out several tapes of their own material as well as releases from other, like minded artists.   Therefore it was no surprise that their latest EP ‘Misled Youth’, released 14th May, appears on a cassette, this time released through Fat Cat with an accompanying option of mp3 download. 

The Glasgow three piece are rightly one of the most talked about acts right now, and opening track ‘Bainz’ demonstrates exactly why they’ve been heralded in such a way.   Pure grunge pop, it’s reminiscent of American garage rock of the early ‘90’s.  Indeed play this to an unsuspecting listener and they think it’s an early Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Soundgarden demo. 

And it gets better, faster and louder, with ‘The Hospital Song’ bouncing in with catchy pop hooks underpinning raw scuzzy vocals from lead singer Phillip.  It’s great on record, and it’s even more furious and riotous live.  The band clearly have taken influences from further afield than bonny Scotland, as they are channelling the spirit of West Coast American pop-punk into dull, dreict Glasgow.   And that’s one of PAWS most redeeming features as against the backdrop of bands such as Admiral Fallow and The Seventeenth Century who make great use of strings, woodwind and brass, PAWS are simplistic to the rudimentary degree.

Need to catch your breath after that last burst of punk energy?  Well nestled in the middle of the EP is ‘Linus Van Pelt’ a sweet lo-fi gem that in amongst the roaring energy of this EP may just be the highlight.  To my ear it sounds a little like early R.E.M., melodic and a little introspective.  Considering that, bar ‘Bainz’, the tracks on this EP were written in under a week before recording, it shows PAWS maturity and ability to mine many sides of the influences which they draw from.  If this is the direction that some other forthcoming album tracks take, I will be most happy.

And inhale… Another sub 2 minute blitzkrieg pop-punk is fired straight at us with title track ‘Misled Youth’.  The track is almost over before you’ve finished your first pogo on the dance floor.  A whirlwind of fun and thrashy guitars, this is the PAWS we know and love!

Final track ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ is another softer melody driven song, again suggesting a more mature sound and offering a glimpse at what the debut album could be like.  Saying that there’s still of lo-fi feedback and distorted vocals to keep the purists happy.  And just like that the EP is done.  Five tracks in 17 minutes. That’s what you call all killer, no filler!

The EP is out now and although physical copies are sold out you can still purchase the download for £2.99 here. Digitally you'll also find the album on iTunes and Amazon.

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1 comment:

  1. How could I not like anything associated with Paws.....mean and moody....I like ' Ralph x